It is fully owned by the Dutch state. There are plans for a share issue to the public in future.
NS shares a common tariff system with the four other passenger train operating companies in the country.
Train tickets are least expensive from the ticket machines; at the counter (if available) a supplement of € 0,50 has to be paid (from March 2004); in the train a much higher supplement is applicable.
Divisions of NS:
There is a delay refund scheme entitling passengers to a partial or full refund of the ticket price if a journey is delayed by half an hour or more, except for short-distance journeys and cases in which the delay is the result of planned cancellations that were announced some days in advance. The refund is not conceived of as monetary compensation for lost time but rather as a reduction in charges where a poor service has been provided. The costs to NS of this scheme are kept manageable by not overstreamlining the claim procedure for passengers: many do not claim because the system is perceived as cumbersome. Part of the cost of the scheme is paid by ProRail, since they are responsible for part of the delays.
Since 2004 tobacco smoking is forbidden on domestic trains, station halls and parts of platforms. The smoking of cannabis was already forbidden, though it happens occasionally and is perhaps not as severely punished as in some other countries (perhaps it is punished the same as tobacco smoking).
Since June 2003 the sale of coffee, soft drinks, beer, sandwiches, candy, etc. has ceased aboard domestic trains. The increasing number of convenience stores on railway stations and the relatively short duration of most train journeys in the Netherlands have lowered the demand for on-train services.
Conductors have a small computer called Railpocket with timetable and fares information. The latest version is the HP iPaq h4350 Pocket PC, which can communicate through Bluetooth with their new Sony Ericsson T610 GPRS-telephone.
External link: " class="external">http://www.ns.nl/